- The Milwaukee Bucks won Game 6 and clinched their first NBA championship in 50 years.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo had a historic Game 6 with 50 points, 14 rebounds, and 5 blocked shots.
- He is the first player in NBA history to win Most Improved Player, MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, and Finals MVP during his career.
After the Milwaukee Bucks squandered the top seed in the NBA playoffs for the second consecutive season, many wondered if Giannis Antetokounmpo would stay in a small market team where no superstar would come and join forces with him.
But instead of demanding for a trade, as some of his peer superstars would do, and as some of the best players in the game did in the past, Antetokonmpo forged his own path and gave this brave statement last year:
“It’s not happening. That’s not happening. Some see a wall and go in [another direction]. I plow through it.”
Giannis Antetokounmpo is not looking to request a trade, and is focused on winning an NBA title with the Bucks next year.
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) September 9, 2020
Critics wondered how Giannis would plow through a wall when he already had failed in consecutive seasons. Well, the Bucks traded for Jrue Holiday during the offseason, added Bobby Portis in another deal, and then P.J. Tucker during the middle of the 2020 season.
Despite finishing as the East’s 3rd seed, the Bucks came together in the playoffs. After getting their revenge on the Celtics, they ousted the Brooklyn Nets who were the consensus favorites in the best NBA betting sites. Milwaukee then disposed of the upstart Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Finals and then defeated the no. 2 team in the league in the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals.
Beating the Suns wasn’t easy. They fell behind 0-2 in the series but once Giannis realized that the Suns were undersized and that nobody on that team could stop him, he went berserk and the Bucks won the next four games of the Finals. Now the Bucks are world champions for the first time in 50 years.
Giannis EXPLODES for 33 of his 50 points in the 2nd half of Game 6, fueling the @Bucks Taco Bell Comeback en route to their first NBA Championship in 50 years!
17-19 FTM pic.twitter.com/qDbk0nHWeb
— NBA (@NBA) July 21, 2021
Giannis scored 50 points in the closeout game. His 50-piece was the first in the Finals since LeBron James in 2018 and the 7th overall in NBA Finals history. He also scored 33 points in the second half to join Michael Jordan as the only players to score 33 points in a single half of a Finals game. He is als the first player in the last 40 years with multiple 30+ halves in a single NBA Finals series.
As for his statline, Antetokounmpo isn’t only the first player in Finals History to put up a 50-10-5 game, he is also the first player to accomplish the feat in a playoff game since blocks were tracked as stats in 1974.
To show how rare Giannis’ statline in Game 6 was, the last player to post a similar 50-10-5 statline in an NBA game, playoffs or regular season was Anthony Davis in 2018. The player with the closest statline to Giannis was Shaq whose 40-10-5 game in 2001 has not been matched, until now when Antetokounmpo topped it.
More NBA History for Giannis
More NBA history for Giannis. 💪 pic.twitter.com/uqsXCJr0It
— theScore (@theScore) July 21, 2021
By being adjudged as the best player in the Finals, Antetokounmpo is also the first player in NBA history to win Most Improved Player, Most Valuable Player, Defensive Player of the Year, and Finals MVP. He is also the fifth foreign-born player to ever win Finals MVP and the 5th lowest drafted player to do so.
Game 6 was also his 12th postseason game with 30 points and 10 rebounds. That’s tied with Elgin Baylor for the second-most by a player in a single postseason. Only Shaq had more with 13 in 2000. He also made 50% of his field goal attempts in his last 14 playoff games, the longest such streak with at least 10 attempts in a playoff game.
He is also only the third player after 1993 MJ and 2000 Shaq to post at least three 40+ point games in a single Finals series. With three 40+ point Finals game, Giannis has more of those than Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird, Kobe, Tim Duncan, KD, and Steph Curry. Now, will anyone still argue that he’s not Batman on his team?